August 11, 2020
Bicameral Bill Introduced to Address Social Isolation Among Older Americans
To increase the capacity of AAAs to prevent and alleviate social isolation among older Americans, n4a has worked with Senate and House lawmakers to introduce a proposal that would fund the Aging Network to prevent and mitigate loneliness. This effort was a response to the spotlight that the COVID-19 crisis has shined on the vital role of AAAs and the Aging Network in addressing the growing concern of social isolation and loneliness among older Americans adhering to ongoing stay-at-home recommendations.
The bill, S. 4477, introduced by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative David Trone (D-MD), would provide $80 million in OAA III B funding to respond to social isolation and includes additional funding to enhance technical assistance and resource center efforts to help the network deploy and expand best practices. While the prospects for this funding remain uncertain in ongoing negotiations over the next COVID-19 response package, this standalone legislation is an important marker and represents months of work by n4a and congressional champions.
Stay tuned to n4a for additional advocacy messages urging lawmakers to include funding for these efforts in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation.